Aimilia Voulvouli and Alexandros Kioupkiolis from the Heteropolitics team, along with Maribel Casas-Cortes, will host this panel on alternative politics, ethnographies and the commons, fleshing out ideas we have been discussing and developing both theoretically and in field research on how ethnographies of social mobilizations, grassroots initiatives and new civic practices can help us to re-imagine and remake radical democratic politics in our times.
Alter-politics, commons and ethnographies for another world
Date and Start Time 17 Aug, 2018 at 09:00
Aimilia Voulvouli (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Maribel Casas-Cortes (Wenner Gren Anthropological Foundation)
Alexandros Kioupkiolis (Aristotle University)
Our panel aims at exploring ethnographic engagement with communities practicing alternative politics that revolve around shared/common resources aspiring thus to contribute to the emerging field of the anthropology of the commons and the wider ethnographic literature on alternative politics
Recent times have been marked by a global financial crisis and a neoliberal hegemony that have driven large parts of the population into depression, resignation and escape, spreading disaffection with the current state of global democracy. Nevertheless, alongside resignation and escape, we can also witness the rise of alternative practices of self-governance, community building and democratic politics.
Emerging community initiatives that self-organise around common endeavours such as social economy initiatives, civic engagement in municipal politics, digital networks, communities of migrants and solidarity groups that self-organise to face the defects of official migrant policy realise and propose different paradigms of political engagement. Based on principles of self-reconstruction and self-governance, such communities practice alternative politics that revolve around shared/common resources, produced and managed by the community itself. At the same time, they engage in knowledge production around alternative notions of the political.
Our panel aims at exploring ethnographic engagement with such ‘alter-political’ communities. We seek contributions examining the character and practices of collective action which revolves around shared resources and promotes alternative politics beyond the established mainstream political and market apparatus. Key questions to be tackled include, among others:
- How can we articulate already existing anthropological knowledge of collective action with fieldwork on the commons?
- Which modus vivendi and forms of subjectivity are unfolding in the context of such collectivities?
- How is the collective subject constituted through practices and knowledge production in the framework of such groups?
- How do contemporary ethnographies of political processes problematize or stimulate and enrich political theory?